Every Linux user has the opensource and legal free software ethos at heart. I love the fact that all the packages I use are free and completely legal. I also love the fact that I am getting the same functionality (and often better) than comercial packages. Linux, just like windows has bittorrent clients, but unfortunately using these to download copyrighted files is commonplace. I agree completely that here in the UK, music/film/games fans are taken to the cleaners when it comes to prices of these things (compared with the rest of the world) however that is not a justification for piracy. Now there may be an answer.
Playlouder is a site aimed at letting users share music. It is planned that they will monitor what you are downloading and reinburse the copyright owner a percentage of money (from your subscription fee) you are encouraged to share with other users (who are also subscribers) otherwise you will recieve slower download speeds.
There are many rumours about what Playlouder is, however it IMO is a complete internet package giving you net access for a monthly subscription (as well as the music downloads) It is expected to launch at the end of September 08.
I hope this works. I believe its the way forward. You only have to look at the stats of downloaded music to realise what sort of impact it is having on the business. This way everyone wins, the fans with limited bugets, the companies releasing the work, and more importantly the artists concerned.
Clive Rich (relevant surname?!!!) from Sony BMG says “It retains the sense of community and spontaneity which makes P2P and super distribution so attractive to consumers, whilst ensuring that this activity takes place within a framework in which the music can be tracked and rights owners get paid”